What are anabolic steroids?
Anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone. The proper term for these compounds is anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS). "Anabolic" refers to muscle building, and "androgenic" refers to increased male sex characteristics. Although common in the healthcare industry to treat a variety of conditions and disorders, athletes and bodybuilders also utilize several steroid types for performance and aesthetic enhancement. Steroid hormones, such as various forms of testosterone, are also quite popular. Some common names for anabolic steroids are Gear, Juice, Roids, and Stackers.
Health care providers can prescribe anabolic steroids to treat hormonal issues, such as delayed puberty. Anabolic steroids can also treat diseases that cause muscle loss, such as cancer and AIDS. But some athletes and bodybuilders abuse these drugs to boost performance or improve their physical appearance.
You can find information about many different types of anabolic steroids online. For instance, there are corticosteroids, which can quickly reduce swelling and inflammation. In fact, some physicians utilize epidural anabolic steroid injections for pain relief. You can buy anabolic steroids like these over the counter at any pharmacy or drug store, though stronger prescription-only versions certainly exist. There are also purely anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), which primarily control “male” characteristics.
The history of anabolic steroids can be traced back to as early as 1930's, before the term steroid was even used. In the 1930's, a team of scientists was able to create a synthetic form of testosterone (a male hormone) to help treat men who were unable to produce enough of the hormone for normal growth, development, and sexual functioning. Later, during World War II it was found that this artificial form of testosterone could be used to help malnourished soldiers gain weight and improve performance. After the war, athletes began to use steroids to enhance their performance in competitions. In the 1956 Olympics, Soviet athletes, especially wrestlers, performed at exceptionally high levels. After learning that those athletes were using testosterone, an American physician (Dr. Zeigler) created a more selective form of what we know as anabolic steroids. From that point until the early 1970's, anabolic steroids became increasingly popular among not just Olympic athletes, but also professional sports players and high school athletes. Today, anabolic steroids are still prevalent and surveys show that adolescent use of anabolic steroids is on the rise and that a great number of adults are actively using.
Method and Dosage of Anabolic Steroids
When creating steroid cycles and stacks, it is important to maximize the total benefits all while reducing the likelihood of the androgenic side effects of anabolic steroids. This is not to say that you should avoid all primarily androgenic steroids. Rather, you should balance your stacks in such a way that you reap the anabolic benefits and minimize the androgenic risks. In order to do that, you need to understand the most popular anabolic steroids out there. The various popular types of anabolic steroids include: intramuscular or subcutaneous injection, by mouth... Almost injection and oral administration being the most common. Recent study showed that approximately 49% of users use both methods, 32% just injections and 19% use anabolic steroids by oral way.
Each of the popular anabolic steroids for sale today has its own unique dosing, and even then, that dosing varies based on whether you use oral steroids or a steroids injection. Doses of anabolic steroids used will depend on the particular objectives of the steroid user. Athletes (middle or high school, college, professional, and Olympic) usually take anabolic steroids for a limited period of time to achieve a particular goal. Others such as bodybuilders, law enforcement officers, fitness buffs, and body guards usually take steroids for extended periods of time. The length of time that steroids stay in the body varies from a couple of days to more than 12 months.
Anabolic steroids are not right for everyone. Individuals who have certain health conditions or mental disorders should avoid using them and seek legal anabolic steroid alternatives instead. Primarily, if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a heart condition, liver problems, kidney problems, or diabetes, do not use these anabolic steroid products.
Side Effects of Anabolic Steroids
Individual anabolic steroid side effects vary from compound to compound and from person to person. For instance, while the Deca steroid may make some men feel irritable, it may boost another’s mood. In general, though, the effects of anabolic steroids include:
- Water retention
- Oily skin and acne
- Hair loss
- Male pattern baldness
- Heart problems, arterial disease
- Mood instability (aggression, depression, irritability)
- High cholesterol and lipid counts
- Decreased sperm count
- High blood pressure
- Menstrual irregularities in women
- Virilization in women
Steroid injection side effects may include itching, redness, pain, and swelling at the injection site.
Different anabolic steroids produce different side effects to various degrees. The absolute best way to mitigate these effects involves researching your steroid of choice to determine which, if any, supplements or stacks you may need to counteract the harmful effects. Additionally, sticking to a recommended dose and cycle length is a good way to reduce anabolic steroid side effects.
Anabolic Steroids Post Cycle Therapy
Anabolic steroids suppress your body’s ability to produce testosterone on its own. The anabolic steroids fill the same receptors as natural testosterone, essentially tricking the body into believing there is plenty of free hormone. Because of this, your testicles no longer produce testosterone, and you may experience things like testicular atrophy, fatigue, and a lack of sexual desire. These things may become even more apparent after your steroid cycle ends, when all of the compounds are leaving your system. Post cycle therapy counteracts these symptoms to make your recovery more comfortable. You only need PCT if you will take 12 weeks off steroids and performance enhancement supplements.
For most people, a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator, or SERM, like Nolvadex or Clomid provide the right amount of therapy. Others choose to incorporate hCG, as well. As a rule of thumb, hCG is really only necessary after a lengthy steroid cycle or a very high dose of anabolic steroids.
Short-Estered Anabolic Steroids
Short-estered steroids have a very short half-life, so you need to start your PCT soon after the last steroid dose. In this case, if you will use hCG, you should start it at 500iu to 1000iu per day three days after the last dose of steroids. You should take it for 10 days, and then start using Clomid at 150mg or Nolvadex at 40mg per day for a total of four to six weeks, cutting your dose in half every two weeks. If you will not use hCG, simply start the Clomid or Nolvadex three days after the last steroid dose, instead.
Long-Estered Anabolic Steroids
Conversely, long-estered steroids have a much longer half-life. Because of this, you should wait a little longer to begin your PCT as the compounds work their way out of your body. If you will use hCG, start 500iu to 1000iu per day 10 days after your last dose of steroids and take it for 10 days. Then, start using Nolvadex at 40mg or Clomid for 150mg per day tapered similar to above. If you will not use hCG, simply start the Clomid or Nolvadex 10 days after the last steroid dose and take it for four to six weeks.
The undisputed fact of the matter is that anabolic steroids are very popular not only with professional and recreational athletes, but also those individuals who only improve their performance and overall living quality. Knowing how it work, how to safely use anabolic steroids and how to protect your health during and after use is crucial not only for your success, but also for your health.